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JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com. n8 Th. IV. Hu?i(, [1884-5. IX. — The Place of English in the College Curriculum. By TH. W. HUNT, Ph. D., PROFESSOR OF RHETORIC AND OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY, PRINCETON, N. J. It is now customary among the most advanced students of modern education to divide the area of collegiate studies into the three great departments of Science, Philosophy, Language and Literature. Although within the sphere of a liberal training there are some studies not strictly included in this division, it is for all practical purposes a convenient and comprehensive one. It is with the last of these three departments that the present paper will deal. We mean by English, — the English Language and Literature as including, also, the subject of English style and criticism. The place of English as thus denned among other collegiate branches is one of the many open questions be- fore the educators and the educated public of to-day. It is a question so prominent and so urgently pressing for discussion and adjustment, that it must in some way be met. In the recent Modern Language Convention held at Columbia College, N.Y., it elicited special interest and clearly indicated the drift of modern opinion regarding it. It is the object of the present informal discussion to say a word on its behalf, if so be the de- partment of English in our American Colleges may be more truly appreciated and a more generous provision be made for its needs. I. THE PRESENT PLACE OF ENGLISH (IN OUR COLLEGIATE SYSTEM) It is patent to every careful observer of our educational methods that this place is one of decided inferiority. A cursory examination of the catalogues of our leading institutions will clearly reveal such an inferiority. In the oldest and what may be supposed to be the best regulated college of the country, we are told " that less than one-half as much instruction is offered in English as in the ancient tongues." A more extreme statement Vol. I.] English in the College Curriculum. 1 19 may be made as to mcst of our important colleges. There are a few institutions indeed that constitute a pleasing exception. Such is Lafayette, "the first American College," as Prof. Owen states " that fully recognized the claims of English studies." This was as early as 1857. Such is Cornell University. Such, also, is The University of California, where the English schedule is especially full. Such, strange to say, are some of the smaller and weaker colleges of the South and West. In the great body of our colleges, however, the place of English is quite subordinate to that of all other related departments. This is true as to the time allotted it, and the results expected from it so that the aver- age graduate knows everything else among liberal studies better than he knows his own language and literature, and can do almost anything else better than express his ideas in clear, vigorous and elegant English. Todhunter, in his Conflict of Studies — makes no reference to English whatever, as if, indeed, it had no place at all in an educational scheme. Mr. Staunton, in his Great Schools of England, laments this neglect as he says, " Of all the chief modern languages, English is, perhaps, the worst spoken and written by educated men." Mr. Thwing in his "American Colleges" writes, "Most colleges offer very meagre opportunities for the study of the origin and growth of either our language or our literature." In a carefully prepared table showing the number of hours assigned to the different departments in twenty of our best colleges, he clearly proves this strong assertion. — (Amer. Colleges, p. 23). It is in point to allude to one or two causes of this neglect : as seen in Defective Teaching and Want of Appreciation. No department of college work has so suffered as the English at the hands of novices. In no department is there greater need of what might he called, Collegiate Service reform. Men are often appointed to English chairs apparently for no other reason than that they are able to speak the language grammat- ically and have a general society knowledge of the literature. Men who are still experimenting as to what their life-work is to be are willing, in the mean time, to do English work as a means to a higher end and on such terms are accepted by Boards of Trustees. Shamefully prevalent as this is in the lower schools, it is not without frequent illustration in our higher institutions. Hence the department is committed to those who have had no experience in conducting it ; who do not and cannot appreciate 120 Th. W. Hunt, [1884-5. its scope ; who know nothing of its best methods and whose presence in it is mainly for personal ends. The anathemas of Alfred, of Chaucer and of Addison should rest upon them. The common sentiment, that any one can teach his vernacular, has been a curse to the English Department and largely accounts for what we see in the line of neglect and accepted inferiority. We agree with President Eliot " that there is no subject in which competent guidance and systematic instruction are of greater value." In this day of specialties, English is no exception. Its sphere is unique and it calls for special preparation. It may be noted further, that the inferior place assigned to English is partly due to that strange depreciation of the department which obtains so generally among parents, preparatory teachers, Boards of Trustees, Faculties of Arts, and with the general public. Some of this is comparatively thoughtless and innocent. Much of it, however, is blameworthy and is none the less so because it is based on educational traditions. It is the habit to underrate the vernacular. It is not one of the "substantial and necessary" departments as we are told. Its philology, it is said, takes us back to the barbarous days of the Anglo-Saxons ; its literature ranks among the self-acquired accomplishments of the student rather than among the difficult and " regular " studies, while its actual expression in composition and literary criticism must be left to natural methods. It occurs to us that there is nothing more trying to a sensitive English scholar than the attitude which many college professors in other departments are pleased to assume, relative to the English. This attitude is at times one of indifference. At times it is patronizing and cynical. The reference here is not to scientific men whose interests as instruc- tors are in widely different lines but to those who are identified with the departments of philosophy and the ancient languages and who are thereby presumed to have a just appreciation of all that pertains to the humanities. The English Department in our colleges has had to fight its way not only against illiteracy and ignorant prejudice but, also, against the persistent opposition of those from whom better things were expected. Whatever the causes, however, of the fact may be, the fact itself remains, that the historical place of English in our higher institutions has been a mere apology for a place, and it now claims a more generous acknowledgment. It insists, moreover, that its claims are reasonable and should at once be heeded. Vol. i.] English in the College Curriculum. 121 II. THE RIGHTFUL PLACE OF ENGLISH (IN THE CURRICULUM). This, we hold, should be a prominent one, not meaning by this a place of precedence or supremacy, but an equitable posi- tion among other important linguistic and literary studies. President Eliot, in his suggestive article on " Liberal Educa- tion " (Century, June, '84), makes, perhaps, some extreme assertions. The drift of the paper, however, is in the right direction, and approaching changes in educational methods will prove the wisdom of most of his propositions. Among the statements not extreme is this: "The first subject which is entitled to recognition as of equal academic value with any sub- ject now most honored is, "The English Language and Litera- ture." These words may be accepted as the text of our discus- sion in this paper. It states just the truth, and in the most concise form. It is not so traditional as to say with the ultra conservative classicist that no change in the adjustment of the ancient and the modern is to be for a moment tolerated, nor is it so erratic as to insist that the old landmarks must be erased and the newer studies take precedence of all else. President Eliot is not arguing against the older so much as he is arguing in favor of the more recent regime. He is contending for the interests of modern history, of social, political and natural sci- ence and of English. The claim is that English should have " equal academic value " in the schedule with any other depart- ment of value. Instead of retaining that grossly unjust dis- proportion of time which Mr. Thwing's tabulated statement re- veals, being, in some cases, ten hours to one in favor of the foreign tongues, the proposal would secure something like a fair adjustment. It is not our purpose to discuss at this junc- ture the open question of classical teaching now before the American colleges. It touches the English question, however, just at this point and needs a passing notice. The question is not, Must the classics go ? nor is it the more specific question, Must the Greek go ? It is only the bigot and charlatan who would entertain, for a moment, either of these questions as related to college courses. The question is, will the classics as taught in our colleges make any concessions of their large amount of time to the modern languages appealing for such time ? More specifically, will they make such concession to the 122 Th. W. Hunt, [1884-5. English ? We are within the department of language and lit- erature. In that department, the place of English has been almost a cipher. The ancient languages have had the field. English now applies for more space in the department — for its rightful place. Inasmuch as the modern European tongues are themselves in need of similar allowances, these concessions must be made on the classical side. From the outside departments of science and philosophy it is evident that nothing can be justly asked. It may be said, therefore, that the acknowledgment of this claim depends on the attitude of the classical brotherhood and on the strength of the English movement behind the claim. If such concessions are made voluntarily by classicists, the ques- tion will be solved beneficendy to all concerned. If such con- cessions are stoutly denied, then the desired result will be secured more slowly and irregularly, but will still be secured, by the simple pressure of the modern upon the ancient. This has already been partially illustrated. The elective classical courses in our colleges are, in the main, a reluctant concession to educa- tional pressure from without and these courses are increasing rather than lessening, beginning in Harvard even in the first year, and in some other institutions not later than the second. The demand of the English in common with that of some other studies is, — Give us a fair place in the general adjustment. Let lis work together as languages on a common ground and for a common end, but no longer on this enormous disproportion. Such a claim is made, partly, because of what the English is in itself as a language and literature and partly because we are living in an era when the vernacular must be understood as never before, — when all that is English must have " ample room and verge enough " to give it its proper expression in the national history. Within the general sphere of college studies, science made such a claim, and being denied, has established its separate schools of a professional order. Within the general department of philosophical study, similar claims are made by teachers of historical, political, and social science, and as these claims are unheeded, movements are even now in progress looking to the founding of separate schools, as in Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. Similar claims are made and similar schemes are agitated as to the French and German. It is not impossible that a persistent Vol. I.] English in the College Curriculum. 123 denial of the reasonable demands of Englis"h may lead to the organization of special schools where it can be taught with sufficient fulness. Whatever might be true of other departments, such an order of things would not be well as to English, in that the various branches of the one department of language and literature are so coordinated as to make their combined study logically necessary. In that " Renovated Curriculum " to which Professor Bain refers, a desirable adjustment can be reached on more rational methods. In some way or another the claims of the vernacular, so long and so urgently pressed, must be heeded and adjusted. Such an adjustment, we believe, will be practically effected within the experience of men now living. III. CONSEQUENT CHANGES AND BENEFITS. a. It is evident, at once, that from such a reconstruction of the English curriculum important results would ensue. There would be, as first in order, A more serious attention to elementary English in our preparatory schools. Up to the present time there may be said to have been no well-established English course in the large majority of such schools. The colleges have not required it and the schools have had no occasion of furnish- ing it. It is so at the present hour. Even where such a course has a place, it is nominal and superficial. Students and masters alike understand that it is aside from the " regular work " and may be compressed into a few exercises just preceding examin- ation at college. We speak here from an actual knowledge of the repeated testimony of entering students. Such applicants are annually appearing from our " best schools " who in the press of classical and mathematical work have scarcely opened the pages of an English grammar ; who know next to nothing of American history, and who, after all their preparatory lan- guage study, are unable to construct a correct and forcible Eng- lish paragraph. They know but little, if anything, of the laws of English sentence structure and the practical content and use of the English vocabulary. In a word, their " preparation " is exclusive of English. President Eliot is right when he says : " So little attention is paid to English in preparatory schools that half of the time, labor and money which the University (Harvard) spends upon English must be devoted to the mere 124 Th. W. Hunt, [1884-5. elements of the subject." In other words, the college must do what long before should have been done. The fact is that the commercial colleges and scientific institutes of Technology and the common schools of the country give the only approximately good elementary drill in English that is now given. Hence, the anomaly appears that of two classes of students applying for admission, those who come from the classical schools only are by no means as well prepared in English as are those who early in life passed through the public school. In a fair competition as to English, the latter have the decided advantage. It is pre- cisely of this condition of things that President Porter is speak- ing in his American Colleges as he says : " The neglect of such culture (elementary English) in too many of the so-called classical schools of this country is inexcusable, and so long as this neglect continues, the colleges must suffer under reproaches which should not properly rest upon them." So radical have been the deficiencies that until quite recently no requirements in English have been demanded by most of our colleges. In many of our institutions even now these requirements are rather nominal than real. It is especially lamentable, we think, that this condi- tion of things in our fitting schools should be most pronounced in those whose reputation in other departments is especially high and, in a sense, national. We refer to a number of the best classical schools of New England and the adjacent West, in which it would seem to be true that special pains are taken to shut out or suppress the study of English. In a preparatory school recently established at Lawrenceville, N. J., we are glad to note what appears to be a fairly adjusted English schedule. We commend it to the attention of educa- tors as a mark of advance in the right direction. If asked what specific modification of preparatory English the rightful place of English in college would secure, we answer, the remanding of the first year of collegiate English to the lower schools. This would effect the double end of arranging English justly both in school and at college and place the entering student at once upon a basis from which the best results would be reached. In addition to a more thorough knowledge of what is at present required, the student should appear tolerably well acquainted with the history of the English language in its outline facts and periods : with a fair knowledge of English etymology and structure ; with a substantial familiarity with the composite ele- Vol. i.] English in the College Curriculum. 125 merits of the English vocabulary and conversant with, at least, the primary facts of historical English literature from the time of Bacon. All this is elementary, but essential. It would at once awaken new impulses in the student's mind, would open out a wide and an attractive field of study and would start him on his college work with an impartial judgment as to the claims of this or that department of activity. Mr. Hales, in his essays on Liberal Education, contends for this in reference to the schools of England. President Porter pleads for it in reference to the schools of America. Nothing will secure it but the proper position of English in the colleges. Could a few of our first colleges have the wisdom and the heroism to state these high terms of entrance and hold to them, the problem would be solved. In the present unseemly rivalry as to numbers among our leading institutions, it is Utopian, we fear, to expect this. Here, again, public opinion may compel educators to do what they refuse voluntarily to do. Perchance, the lower schools themselves, under the influence of such popular pressure, may compel the colleges to elevate their standards. b. Closely connected with this result attendant upon a right- ful adjustment of collegiate English there would ensue, A health- ful change in the methods and benefits of the leaching itself. In- struction purely primary and limited having had its proper place in the elementary course, would now give way to a more ad- vanced order of work. The purely historical method of dates and names, incidents and events, would now be secondary to the philosophic and critical methods. By safely gradationed stages the study of the English language would rise from a somewhat formal examination of phraseology and structure to a real philological study of the tongue in its content and its great linguistic changes, its inner spirit, and its possibilities. The study of mere grammatical laws as formulated by Brown would yield to the higher methods of such masters as Earle and Morris. Words would become, in Baconian phrase, "the footsteps and prints of reason." Principles and processes would take the place of mere detail and the interest resulting be commensurate with the increased profit. So as to the study of literature and style. This at once would become critical and comprehensive in dis- tinction from being merely chronological. The main facts being already in the possession of the student, an advance could at once be made to something like the pro- 126 Th. W. Hunt, [1884-5. cess of generalization. The inductive principle in literary study is as valuable as it is in other realms and can be fully applied only in the event of assigning a larger place to English work. The current errors, that English literature is a subject for the desultory reader in his leisure hours rather than an intellectual study for serious workers ; that it ranks as an accomplishment only, and that the terms literary and philosophic, are mutually exclusive, are errors that have been strengthened by the super- ficial methods on which the subject has been taught in most of our institutions. The enlargement of the collegiate course in English will correct all this. It will substitute the disciplinary for the cesthetic method and give true literary inspiration rank above mere verbal finish. The soul of the authorship will deter- mine its excellence. The study will become psychological. It is this order of study and teaching that President Eliot has in mind when he insists that the purely disciplinary value of Eng- lish literary study has been greatly underrated. If it begin and end with fact only, it is easy to see that apart from the training of the memory, there is no exercise of the intellectual powers in it. If, however, by reason of preceding drill in the schools, the collegiate teaching may at once assume high ground, the study will take its place thereby with all other studies of a philosophic order and the result will be mental breadth and vigor. As President Porter remarks, "The critical study of English Liter- ature cannot be overestimated. It is thus that the spirit of independent activity can be most effectively directed." As a natural result of this better method our college classes would receive what could justly be called a thorough English education. As a matter of fact, they are, at present, greatly deficient in this regard. Nor are we speaking here of an igno- rance of that general English knowledge which is obtained by all students from the various branches of their collegiate work, but of those specific subjects formally falling under the English Department. Such deficiency on the part of the average graduate is greater than in any other important branch. Upon leaving college, he knows less of his vernacular than of any other lan- guage that has come before him and knows that little with less thoroughness. He has never been called to master the speech and letters of England as he has mastered those of other lands. Assuming an innate knowledge of these subjects not really pos- sessed, he is led to depreciate and neglect them. For such a Vol. i.] English in the College Curriculum. 127 state of things the present narrowness of the English course is responsible, and the remedy lies in enlargement and thorough- ness. The pupil would then have time under the guidance of judicious instruction to make himself substantially conversant with First English Philology in Caedmon, Bfeowulf and Alfred; to study its characteristics and structure ; to mark its transition through the middle English of Layamon and Langlande to Chaucer and Spenser ; to mark the great historical periods of Modern Eng- lish from the Elizabethan to the Victorian ; to study it in its relation to other Teutonic tongues — in fine to take up for the first or more minutely a thousand questions on which the college student should be informed and in virtual ignorance of which he is, at present, compelled to graduate. So, in the province of English criticism and Literature, as the field here is still wider, the deficiencies of the average graduate and the benefits of an enlargement of the course are all the more marked. In such leading institutions as Yale and Princeton, it would seem to be in the line of travesty to assign to the profes- sor of Engljsh Literature not more than two hours a week for one-half of the course and expect him to ground his classes therein. An application of Dr. Taylor's classical method or of Professor March's Philological method to the study of Shake- speare alone would scarcely conduct the student beyond the first half-dozen plays in the two years. Any proper study of the grand department of English Prose Authors would more than fill up such an allotment of time. What a host of topics — historical, linguistic, legendary, poetic and rhetorical — gathers about one such poem as the Faerie Queen or Comus ! What deep and broad reaching questions of theology, metaphysics, social economy and literature center in The Essay on Man ! Who could study the Dunciad and not make himself familiar with a vast amount of English biography and history? The study of the great forms of poetry, of the principles of poetic art, of the leading canons of style as illustrated in English classics, of the life and times of an author as related to his liter- ary productions, of the influence of other literatures upon the English — the study of such germinal topics as these now necessarily passed with discursive comment, would by the read- justment of the course receive something like the attention they deserve and " furnish forth " the student with the knowledge he so much needs. Every graduate of an American college should 128 Th. W. Hunt, [1884-5. be thoroughly conversant at his graduation with just such a body of English teaching as we have oudined. He owes it to himself as an English-speaking man to be thus " thoroughly furnished " and so prepared to do his work in the world among his English fellows. c. It is pertinent here to remark that it is only by such a widening of the course in English that the important problem as to efficient English teachers can be solved. In no surer way would the training of a body of high class English instructors be secured. It is often said by way of adverse criticism that despite the urgent need of competent teachers of English, the English department in our colleges fails to provide them. The charge is a just one and the explanation lies in the direct line of our discussions. The course is too restricted to do anything more than give the barest outline and introduction of the sub- ject. Certainly, nothing can be done in the way of making teachers or awakening in students such a desire. The only remedy is, in that expansion of the course by which the student would be truly educated in English. Dr. Porter, in his article on Preparatory Schools, makes timely allusion to this duty of the college. It is one of the first obligations of every important department of college study to furnish competent teachers in that department. One of the best tests of the efficiency of a department is found at this point. No pastor should more cer- tainly look for converts under his preaching and pastoral care than should the college professor look among his classes for those desirous of becoming teachers and able to do so. The departments of classics, mathematics and philosophy have par- tially succeeded in this from the fact that what has been denied the English has been accorded them. If the trustees of our colleges desire a succession of superior English professors, then must the English course be made by them " of equal academic rank " with any other department. The curse of Jehovah is still on the theory of bricks without straw. Students properly edu- cated in English would call at once for graduate courses in such studies, by the agency of which a continuous body of high class English scholars would be ready on demand. The reac- tionary influence of this upon the colleges and the lower schools would be stimulating in the extreme. d. We allude to a single further benefit of the rightful adjustment of English. — The marked increase of English Vol. I.] English in the College Curriculum. 129 Literary Culture in our colleges and in the country. As to the special absence of this, at present, nothing need be said. The need is obvious to every observer. It would scarcely be aside from the truth to say that with the exception of one or two of our American institutions, our colleges are, in no true sense, literary centers. We are using the term literary in its specific sense as related to the study of English, quite distinct from that other literary influence connected with classical studies or from that general literary culture which re- sults from the pursuit of the liberal arts. General literary cul- ture and special classical culture are often found where a definite English literary culture is lacking and this we are bound to maintain, is for English speaking students the highest form of culture. In speaking of our colleges as the literary institutions of the country, special emphasis is to be given to that form of literary culture which is distinctively English. No amount of general culture and no amount of any specific culture from other sources than English study will give it. It must have the home flavor. In the sphere of English literary criticism what lament- able failures are daily seen on the part of those critics who bring no special English culture to their work but come to it only as general students, or as those conversant with the foreign ton- gues — ancient and modern. We insist that every American College should be instinct with English literary thought and life, so that faculty and students alike should feel it ; so that those who come from the outside world to these institutions should feel it, and so that the effect of it upon the national life would be potent and elevating. We are speaking now to a point second to no other in the department of English as it stands re- lated to academic and public life. We can but express our meaning here by raising the question so often raised, What are our colleges doing specifically for English Literature in America — for American Prose and Poetry? We are told on every hand that our literature is on the decline ; that the heroic age of American Letters has no counterpart in modern times, and that in the main our literature is confined to fiction, periodicals and lighter verse, rather than to the great departments of creative prose and song. These questions are worth heeding. It is said by those acknowledging the charges, that the mission of America is not literary but industrial ; that we are to expect an inferior order of literary art and a sluggish popular interest therein. It 130 Th. IV. Hunt, [1884-5. is stated, also, by way of palliation, that the country is too young as yet for any decided development along these higher lines of national endeavor. These replies are partial and evasive. The difficulty lies deeper. Most of it is found in the want of a more distinctive literary English culture in our colleges. Students are not kept long enough in contact with the inner life of Eng- lish Letters to take on something of that spirit which is resident therein. They fail to receive that literary bent and impulse which is the result of abiding " communion with the visible forms " of English authorship. They are not sufficiently in- doctrinated. Hence, the large majority of our graduating classes go forth quite indifferent to the claims upon them of doing subsequent literary work, quite ignorant of the meaning and methods of such work, and quite uninterested, also, in the success or failure of the chosen few who may devote themselves to such activities. It is certainly not too much to say that in every graduating class of one hundred members there should be a goodly number of spe- cial English literary students — men who would be willing to survey, at least, the literary outlook in America and insist upon the assignment of good reasons why they should not make the attempt to do something in the field of national letters. What Milton terms "a complete and generous education" surely in- cludes more fully that culture of the English mind and taste and heart, through the agency of which those possessing it will know all that is true and beautiful and good of an English character and be enabled to furnish such literary product for the apprecia- tion of others. It is interesting to note that in the case of some of our earlier American authors, the high literary work of their maturity was somewhat anticipated in their collegiate days. It was thus with Motley, Prescott, Emerson, Everett, and Ticknor at Harvard. It was eminently so with Hawthorne and Long- fellow at Bowdoin, as with Willis at Yale and with Bryant in his partial course at Williams. These and other writers that might be mentioned may be said to have begun their literary career at college. In addition to all that they owed to natural gifts, they owed something to that distinctive culture which was more prominent then in academic circles than it is now. It were highly desirable that more of our graduates might go forth with a similar preparation and purpose. If it is answered here, that the profession of literature is not lucrative, we have Vol. I.] English in the College Curriculum, 131 but to turn to the lives of some of these very authors, as Haw- thorne and Bryant, or to such non-collegiate men as Irving, Halleck, Cooper, and Bayard Taylor, to note through what personal struggles they went to realize their aims. It is sur- prising to mark how many of them reached literature through law, journalism and even business, or combined one of these pursuits with authorship itself. American literature is looking, as never before, to our colleges for her literary men, — her writers and critics, and this result, we repeat, will mainly depend upon a more serious attention in colleges to English work. The place of English, therefore, in the college curriculum should be that of prominence. As the department of language and literature should rank with that of science or of philosophy, so, within the language department itself, the invidious distinc- tions that have so long had sway against the vernacular should yield by gradual concessions to a more equitable regime. In a division of hours among the Latin, Greek, French, German, and English, let the honest one-fifth of the time be set apart to each. President McCosh, in his last report to the trustees of Princeton College, writes : "As much as we appreciate other languages, we should set the highest value on our own." President White, of Cornell, remarks : " It is impossible to find a reason why a man should be made B. A. for good studies in Cicero and Sophocles which does not equally prove that he ought to have the same distinction for good studies in Corneille, Schiller, Dante and Shakespeare." Recent statistics tell us " that notwithstanding the largely increased number of colleges in our country, the students in proportion to the population have been steadily decreasing for the last thirty years." The reference here is to colleges giving the degree of A. B. Among the assignable causes for such an anomaly it might not be amiss to ask whether an ultra conservative protest against the enlarge- ment of the modern studies, and most especially of the vernacu- lar, is not a possible one. Such an enlargement is at present before the American colleges with justifiable claims. It is notice- able that its attitude is becoming ever bolder and its educational and popular backing ever more formidable. Careful observers will not fail to note cheering signs of promise. Not only is it true, as Mr. Thwing asserts, " that the facilities for learning modern languages have vastly improved," but special facilities are at hand in the sphere of English. At no former period 132 Th. W. Hunt. [1884-5. have such means been available. English philology has already taken its place in scholarly esteem side by side with that of any other tongue, while in English literature and criticism better and better results are realized. The question is practically be- fore the colleges — whether this literary development is to be made safe and reputable by being under collegiate guidance. It lies, we believe, within the province and the high privilege of our liberal institutions to hold such a control over national cul- ture and furnish the main material for its propagation. Literary culture should be more and more a scholarly culture. In the timely proposal that a larger place should be given to the modern studies, we press the claims of the native speech " to equal aca- demic rank " with any other study of value. This should be done for its own sake as a language and literature, for the sake of our historic and providental relations to it as our vernacular, and by reason of the present era as eminently modern and Eng- lish. On the ground, also, of those various benefits which such an expansion of English in the college curriculum will secure to the lower schools, to the colleges themselves, to the general American public and to American letters — we commend its temperate claims to the intelligent judgment and practical sup- port of all those among us who have to do with educational reform.